Crisp bass with a porcini mushroom and oxtail crust served on wilted greens with red wine jus

The combination of this fine flavoured fish with the rich oxtail as well as the texture of the mushrooms makes for an amazing dish, perfect as a starter!

Braised oxtail:

  • 4 Oxtails
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 onion , chopped
  • 1 carrot , chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tomato, seeded and coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 100grm ground peanuts


Preheat oven at 220 degrees C. Cook the oxtail with the canola oil in a roasting pan on the stove top over a medium heat for 3 min on each side or until golden brown. Remove oxtail and set aside. Add the onion, carrot, celery, garlic and tomato

to the pan and stir. Add the wine, chicken stock, bay leaf, and thyme. Return the oxtail to the pan. Season with salt and pepper. Cover the pan tightly and roast in the oven for 3 hours, or until the meat is very tender. Remove the meat from the bones and discard the bones. Adjust seasonings if necessary. Strain the braising liquid through a fine-mesh sieve and skim off any excess fat. Reserve half the strained liquid for the sauce.

Red wine mushroom sauce

  • ¼ cup bacon thinly sliced.
  • 2 cups porcini mushrooms sliced
  • 1 onion peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup red wine
  • ½ cup braising liquid from the oxtail
  • Salt and black pepper


Render the fat from the bacon in a sauté pan over medium heat, about 4 min. Add the mushrooms, onions, garlic, and olive oil, continue to cook for 5min. Add the wine and cook for 10 min, or until the wine is reduced by half. Add the reserved ½ cup braising liquid and season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove one third (1/3) of the mushrooms and chop them finely. Fold the finely chopped mushrooms into the braised oxtail meat.


  • 2 teaspoons grape seed oil
  • 4 x 150g pieces of bass fillet, skin on
  • Salt and black pepper


Heat the grape seed oil in a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Season the bass with salt and pepper. Add the bass to the pan skin side first and cook for 4 min, or until the skin is golden and crisp. Flip the fish over and continue to cook for 1-2 min or until just cooked through. Remove the fish from the pan and carefully remove the crispy skin by cutting it off in one piece with a knife. Reserve both the skin and fish.

Swiss chard

  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp minced shallots
  • 2 cups chopped swiss chard (leaves only)
  • Salt and black pepper


Place the butter and onions in a sauté pan and cook over medium heat until the shallots are translucent , about 3min. Add the chard and cook for 3-5 min or until the chard is wilted. Season to taste with salt and pepper.


  • 50ml extra virgin olive oil
  • Chopped cilantro

Place some of the chard in the centre of each plate. Put a piece of bass on the chard, crust with a generous amount of oxtail mixture, and top with a piece of crispy skin. Spoon some of the sauce around the plate. Sprinkle with the micro cilantro and drizzle the herb oil around the plate.

Wine recommendation

Sautéd bass served on its own could harmonize with either white or red wine, but the red wine mushroom sauce and oxtail crust produce a finer pairing with earthy reds. Glen Carlou Pinot Noir heightens the earthy elements of the dish while not over- shadowing the flavour of the fish. The wine works particularly well with the meatiness of the porcini mushrooms.